Why is it that so many salespeople fail to make the grade in their personal sales careers and in the companies they work for?
It’s because most suffer from a disease called soft selling.
Think of a definition of soft selling as an attempt by the seller to be liked, rather than a desire to solve problems regardless of the emotional resistance directed at them (the seller) by the prospective buyer.
Like it or not, prospective buyers are emotional.
Whether that emotion is fear, worry, anxiety, conservatism, boredom or exhilaration, the weak closer is unwilling to confront and deal with these perfectly natural emotions.
These weak sellers perceive using pressure as bad.
They personally don’t enjoy being pressured and refuse to employ any form of it. This is the salesperson that quickly drops the price to get the deal, and the sales process, over with.
If your personal sales are suffering, or you suspect the soft selling disease has infected your sales department, then start re-evaluating your sales process, immediately.
Ask yourself this question. Are you or your sales staff order-takers, or sales-makers?
If ‘order-takers’ comes to mind then you had better get to work because there’s no time to waste.
Take these actions immediately:
- Decide to correct the offending sales reps or banish them forever. This is a disease that needs to be excised.
- Replace them with proven sales professionals who understand sales methodology and processes, who aren’t afraid to ask prospects for their business and clearly understand the principle that the prospect is “buying” the sales representative first.Unfortunately this may cost you in higher base salaries and commissions, after all you get what you pay for in the sales game, but in the long run it will pay off.
- Find a sales process that fits your needs and the needs of your salespeople. A sales process is a step-by step, disciplined approach to moving prospects up through a “scale of awareness” – from not knowing about your product or service (in the prospecting stage) to a high level of desire and interest in the presentation and closing stages.
Getting there may mean hiring a successful sales consultant familiar with these processes to help you.
- Give your salespeople some ammunition with hot-button focused marketing materials, designed by a marketing professional. This marketing collateral is a sales tool that essentially helps “make the case” for your product or service and separates you from your competition.
- Increasing sales immediately, while these new processes are implemented, is jump-started by up-selling existing clients and revisiting the unclosed deals of the recent past, all the time watching sales results, hourly if need be.
- Now start setting sales targets for next week’s or next month’s sales figures.
Look at every one of your unclosed deals (hot prospects) and revisit them with a new attitude and desire to solve their problem(s) with your solution(s).
Be unsatisfied with anything less than a rising sales graph.
This is an attitude change of immense proportion and it can be done very quickly.
Get people working in your sales division that know how to make things happen and believe that they make the day, the day doesn’t make them.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, can get in the way of you, or a trusted associate with the same viewpoint, taking the time expanding the energy projected out of the business; through cold-calling, added advertising, networking, shaking hands and follow-up with existing clients searching for referrals.
Then, be determined to ask for their business.
Yes, learn to ask for it.
“Mike, now that we’ve reviewed all your options and I seem to have answered all your concerns, can I ask you a direct question?” (Sure you can).
“Great. Do you trust me to get this project done on time and on-budget?” (Yes I do).
“Wonderful and thank you for that. So, let’s not waste any time and get you signed up right now and moving forward.”
Increase your understanding of the sales and marketing process and you will find your ability to control those functions rise proportionately.
If you do not have the time or inclination to jump into the sales and marketing arena, don’t panic, you’re not alone. Find the right people, with verifiable track histories of success and strategize together.
Just remember that increasing sales in a challenging economy means having a deep desire to help your customers think of your product or service as the solution to their problems and then selling them with
the viewpoint that going to your competitor would be a dire mistake.
It also means banishing the soft selling viewpoint, forever.
Remember, you make the day, the day doesn’t make you.
© 2013 SELLability Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.